Need to wipe your Android phone or device? Don’t worry you don’t need to be a tech expert to do this. I’ll explain why you might need to wipe your phone in the first place, then walk you through how to do it.
Are you selling your phone or planning to give it away? This is the classic reason to make sure you wipe your phone completely. Of course, you’re not going to sell your phone with all your photos, text messages, browsing history, and every other piece of private data intact. Even if you’re selling it to your best friend, there’s certain things that need to be kept private.
Maybe you are worried that your phone has been hacked or compromised in some way. This is a growing problem unfortunately. Hackers are targeting individuals and people are having their phones monitored through spy apps.
The good news is that you can remove a phone hack very easily by resetting the phone. When it comes to dealing with spy software – wiping your Android phone will remove any spy apps completely. Whatever your reason for wanting to wipe your phone you need to do it properly.
So how can you delete the entire contents of your Android with ease? In this article, I’ll provide you the easy way to do so, and make sure that no one sees your personal data. It’s an easy process, and it will delete everything without them being able to bring it back.
Note that depending on the version of Android your phone is using some steps may differ slightly – but the basic process is the same.
First, Back Everything Up
When you get a new phone, it’s a huge chore to re-add your contacts and tweak the settings to your liking. However, you don’t have to! All you need to do is backup your data and then put it on your new phone, and it’s like nothing much has changed.
In the past backing up your Android phone would have been a bit of a chore, but now it’s incredibly easy. Here are a few programs that can do it for you:
Titanium Backup: This tool has been the subject of praise for being the best backup tool. It needs root access for you to back it up, but the program is free, with a pro upgrade for just seven bucks.
MyBackup: This one requires root access as well, but it has many features that make backing up easy to do. Like Titanium, you can upgrade it, but this one is just five dollars.
There are loads of apps to help backing up Android both free and paid. You can also do it manually using your Google account storage.
Second, Remove All SD and SIM Cards
You SIM card is the magic tool that holds are your subscription, carrier, and even your photos and contacts. Take it out and use it for your next phone. You don’t need someone to have your card when you give it to them.
Your external SD card, meanwhile, is the way that you can have extra storage. It’s optional, so it’s best that if you have one, you should remove it.
If you want to clear your SD card before you remove it, then you can do that through the Android settings. Navigating to Settings, then Storage, then Erase SD card.
Now that those cards are gone, the only thing your phone should hold is the battery. Now it’s time to erase the data inside with a factory reset – sometimes called a hard reset.
Finally, Let’s Do A Factory Reset
This is arguably the most crucial step out of the three but Android makes this really easy to do. Your internal data is where your browsing history, settings, app data, sensitive files, and more are held, and you definitely do not want to give anyone access to that! Just imagine if you sold the phone and they logged into your bank account because your phone had the info.
So what you need to do is to reset your phone back to its default settings. It’s called a factory reset because the phone is restored to how it was when it left the factory!
The Android system has the factory reset option built in to every phone model – where on the menu you find it can differ slightly with some versions of Android.
Go to “settings” then “system” and scroll down for “reset”. Next select the option “Factory data reset”. You’ll be prompted to confirm you want to delete all data – and that is it! The phone will restart and all your personal data will be deleted permanently.
That was easy, right? After you did all that, scan your phone again just to make sure all your personal info is gone. Now you can safely sell or give away your phone – or enjoy a freshly “cleaned” phone.